With over sixteen years of project experience, a diversity of available services and wide-ranging staff capabilities, EnviroCom can provide clients with specialised services in Environmental Education, Training and Research.
Rethinking Waste at Home – Community Workshop
Client: Logan City Council
EnviroCom has been involved in the planning and delivery of community education and engagement programs on behalf of Logan City Council for over a decade. Every year, EnviroCom facilitates a series of popular weekend workshops that offer participants the skills and knowledge to reduce waste through home composting, worm farming or correct recycling.
In early 2014, EnviroCom designed and trialled a new workshop with the aim of challenging the way people view waste generation throughout their homes. The ‘Rethinking Waste at Home’ workshop highlights the common, but often subconscious, waste generation habits that result from every day events such as grocery shopping, gardening, food preparation and social situations. With reference to the steps of the waste hierarchy; avoidance, reduction, and reuse; participants are encouraged to identify potentially wasteful behaviours and explore the possible alternatives that are readily available.
The Rethinking Waste at Home Workshop encourages participants to make simple, but conscious decisions everyday that can significantly reduce a household’s waste footprint.
Early Learning Years Environmental Education Resource Kit
To complement the release of The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia, ‘Belonging, Being and Becoming’, EnviroCom has developed an Early Learning Years Environmental Education Resource Kit. This kit primarily addresses waste management and provides Early Learning Centres and Kindergartens with the means to independently assess and improve their current waste management practices through provision of a waste calculator tool.
The kit also incudes resources for children, including two interactive picture story books: ‘Tom, Sam and Kate Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ and ‘Tom, Sam and Kate’s Backyard Adventure’. The books include complementary follow-on activities, as well as extension activities for facilitation by group leaders encouraging open-ended play experiences and opportunities for intentional teaching. The kit also includes reinforcing tools such as posters.
To assist uptake of the Kit, EnviroCom’s trained facilitators can run PD sessions for Centre staff to train them in how to effectively use the Kit and get the most out of it. Contact EnviroCom today to find out more!
Regulated Waste Training
Client: Stanwell Corporation
EnviroCom Australia delivered three regulated waste training sessions to staff and contractors from Tarong Power Station, Tarong North Power Station and Meandu Mine (Stanwell) to assist in ensuring continued legislative compliance in regulated waste management and tracking. The practically focused, small group training sessions were delivered onsite and customised for the specific site needs and wastes generated.
The delivery of customised site-based training can be used to assist in addressing complex compliance issues by cutting through the regulatory jargon and focusing on the specific needs of a site, a project or an event. This process is best applied where detailed consideration of the waste generation composition and behaviour has been undertaken.
EnviroCom can assist any of our customers to assess waste composition, waste generation behaviours, regulated waste generation, waste management planning and develop site specific training or other interventions to address efficiencies, resource loss, resource recovery and compliance goals.
Council Internal Waste Training Workshop
Client: Sunshine Coast Council
EnviroCom, in partnership with Sunshine Coast Council’s Environment and Sustainability Department, developed and delivered a series of training workshops for staff across the organisation. The main objective of this project was to engage and train a Waste Champion from each department or branch, through a ‘train the trainer’ style workshop. The workshop was designed to cover both a broad range of issues related to waste generation and disposal as well as an understanding of barriers to and motivators for behavioural change. Feedback indicated that the workshop provided a great balance of information and skills-based learning, which translated into action as participants felt confident to train their teams in how to engage with Council’s internal waste management system and other waste minimisation techniques. A second series of workshops is planned for later in the year, with Waste Champions to monitor progress at follow-up meetings.
Waste Management in Multi Unit Developments
Client: Maroondah City Council
A project instigated by one of EnviroCom’s Senior Consultants in Melbourne, with the aim of reducing illegal rubbish dumping, reducing contamination of recycling material and reducing waste sent to landfill, has had extremely encouraging early results. The project received funding from the Metropolitan Waste Management Group’s Metropolitan Local Government Resource and Recovery Fund.
Four different approaches were trialled, to educate residents of multi unit developments (MUDs) in how to dispose of their rubbish and recycling items. The cheapest option (installing under-the-lid recycling stickers) proved to be the second most effective in improving the contamination rate, whilst the most expensive option (door knocking residents) was the most effective in all categories. This option, while costing just over $13 per unit, was less than twice the cost of the next most expensive option (bin corral signage), which had a negligible or negative effect on contamination rates, resource loss and illegal dumping. The second cheapest option (mail-out of information to residents) resulted in the second highest improvement in illegal dumping.
Face to face contact is clearly the most effective way to educate residents in how to dispose of their rubbish, and the long term cost benefits outweigh the initial outlay. Contamination of recycled material was reduced from 16.5% to 2.5% while illegal dumping was reduced from 2 cubic metres per week to one third of a cubic metre per week for the whole development– a result which is certainly worth replicating on a wider scale.
School Waste Minimisation Planning Program Takes Off
- Logan City Council
In 2013, Logan City Council’s popular waste education program, Watch Out Waste, began offering schools assistance with the development of a tailored School Waste Minimisation Plan (SWMP) to align with their School Environmental Management Plan (SEMP).
The assistance based program involves experienced EnviroCom educators providing advice on off-site collection services. This advice helps schools undertake baseline data gathering and develop a targeted and practical School Waste Minimisation Plan. The established in-class education program also complements the waste minimisation goals set by the school.
EnviroCom has currently assisted 4 schools to successfully develop a SWMP, with the collaborative approach to planning and development positively received by all schools involved. Through Council’s Watch Out Waste Program, EnviroCom hopes to engage a further 4-8 schools in the new financial year, as well as expand the program to provide assistance to local businesses.
For more information about Logan City Council’s Watch Out Waste Program visit Council’s website: http://www.logan.qld.gov.au/environment-water-and-waste/waste-and-recycling/waste-education
Ascott Gardens Retirement Village
As part of its Business Waste Reduction Program, NetWaste engaged EnviroCom to collaborate with the 28-Council wide network of Councils in order to devise a comprehensive program that engaged residents and staff at Ascott Gardens, an assisted living facility for the elderly, to achieve lasting sustainable outcomes. EnviroCom, in partnership with NetWaste’s Environmental Learning Advisor, offered facilitation and educational assistance to Ascott Gardens in order to establish a successful recycling program and achieve waste reduction goals. The program consisted of several components, beginning with survey distributed to staff and residents, designed to gauge the level of understanding and awareness around waste and recycling issues, as well as to obtain insight into the barriers for correct recycling behaviours.
A visual inspection was conducted to take examine current practices. Several meetings were conducted to provide stakeholders with outcomes of the initial project phases. Cleaning staff were consulted directly for their feedback, as their participation and ownership of the program was considered imperative to its success. Information seminars were delivered to staff members and residents in separate sessions to provide guidance on specific waste and recycling issues; these were complemented by educational resources including a 12-page booklet targeting staff, newsletter inserts for residents, and a range of pictorial signage for display throughout the facility. The program was successful in achieving a number of positive outcomes, including a reduced frequency of waste collection. The newfound awareness of staff and residents has been credited with inspiring a wider range of other environmentally conscious behaviours within as well as external to the facility.
Clean Up Australia Day 2013 and EnviroCom – A Proud Partnership
For the past 8 years EnviroCom has proudly coordinated Clean Up Australia Day events for the Sunshine Coast Council. This has included:
• Networking with community groups,
• Schools and businesses to raise awareness of the event,
• Coordinating media and promotion of the registered sites,
• Coordinating various waste collection contractors to provide waste collection for the event and
• Collating data for Council at the conclusion of the event.
EnviroCom has assisted Council to utilise the event to not only raise awareness of illegal dumping and resource loss, but to also instil pride in the community to protect their local environment. In 2010, the Sunshine Coast Council won the Clean Up Australia Day Local Council Award and in 2012 Caloundra won the Keep Australia Beautiful Australia’s Tidiest Town Award.
Multi-Unit Dwellings (MUDs) – Recycling Bin Inspection Program
- Burwood Council
Multi-unit dwellings (MUDs) tend to exhibit higher levels of recycling contamination (relative to single-unit dwellings) and are notoriously difficult to engage with in relation to the delivery of education for correct recycling practices.
EnviroCom was engaged by Burwood Council to conduct a Bin Inspection Program (BIP) of MUDs in selected suburbs of Burwood. The inspection program was designed to assess the level and composition of contamination in the recycling stream, and use this information to provide education and guidance to the community to improve recycling practices. Following inspections educational resources were given to every household, containing specific feedback regarding the performance of the whole complex and targeted information highlighting recyclable and non-recyclable items.
The program was successful with a 17% improvement overall in recycling practices (i.e. decreasing contamination), and a significant reduction in the occurrence of high and extreme levels of contamination.
Special Projects and Innovative Waste Management
- Stanwell Corporation – Stanwell Power Station
Does your large scale construction or industrial maintenance project require specialised waste management support?
EnviroCom provided Stanwell Power Station (SPS) with specialised waste management expertise during the 2012 Outage Project. Each year Stanwell Power Station takes one of its four units offline for major maintenance and upgrade work. The Outage runs for approximately 60 days and requires an additional 650 specialist personnel onsite. Every Outage since 2009, EnviroCom has provided a field officer to oversee waste management. The officer’s duties include training, maximising waste segregation, logistics, reviewing procedures/policies, ensuring legislatively compliant disposal of waste, contractor liaison, collation and analysis of data plus reporting.